Lt. Gen. Shuja Pasha, who then headed Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) agency, made the admission to his CIA counterpart, Gen. Michael Hayden at a meeting in Washington in December 2008, according to Haqqani’s new book.
This is not new to India, but merely another confirmation of long-held suspicions. The book follows Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Headley’s revelations in a Mumbai special court earlier this year on the 26/11 attacks. To the uninitiated, David Coleman Headley is an American terrorist of Pakistani origin, and a spy who conspired with the LeT terror organization and Pakistani intelligence officers in plotting the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Headley is currently lodged in a US jail, where he is currently serving a prison sentence of 35 years for his role in the Mumbai attack. The revelations that Headley made were pretty sensational.
Headley confessed that he was ‘handled’ by senior officers in Pakistan’s premier spy agency, the ISI. Headley also confessed to having visited terror training camps in Pakistan, during the course of which he met and interacted with LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Jamaat-Ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed. Haqqani’s book will once again put the focus back on the Pakistani military and intelligence establishment’s use of “non-state actors” to attack India’s sovereign interests.
The lack of concrete legal action against Hafiz Saeed and Lakhvi before him has frustrated India’s attempts to bring the guilty to book. “The state is willing to crush jihadi groups that engage in violence against Pakistani citizens and security personnel but has no qualms about the mobilization of jihadis that target other countries, particularly India, Afghanistan, and even the United States,” Haqqani wrote in an earlier column.
“The problem with this policy has been that jihadi groups do not make the distinctions made by the government and often collaborate with each other on the ground.” What makes it worse in the Indian context is that some in the Pakistani establishment are unwilling to give up on the dream of keeping the Kashmir issue alive with the help of terrorists. But without any real help from the international community, there isn’t much India can hope to achieve.